What is vata dosha? Vata under stress and imbalance

Aug 3, 2022 | Ayurveda


The ancient life science of ayurveda identified three main life energies or dosha that govern our physical and mental processes. According to ayurvedic teachings these doshas form the blueprint for our health and wellness and when they are in imbalance we tend to feel sick or out of sorts. The three doshas are vata, pitta and kapha. The discussion here will be vata under stress and imbalance that it causes.

What is Vata dosha?

While the balance of all three doshas are of importance and govern different areas vital to our body and mind harmony, vata may have a slight edge over the others as it is the energy that flows through our flexibility and joy and governs our movement from breathing to blood flow and eliminating waste. Our mind processes thoughts, memories, ideas and images among others owing to the vata dosha.

How is vata dosha connected to stress?

Ayurveda sees stress as predominantly an imbalance in our vata dosha, the energy of movement. As it is the dosha related to movement within the mind and the body formed by the space and air elements, when there is a vata imbalance it causes us to feel stressed as our thoughts spiral out of control. Vata is intrinsically linked to our nervous system, which is why it is so important to balance vata, because prolonged imbalance can cause us to feel uninspired and negative. This is what stress is and while sometimes beneficial in small bursts it not good over long periods, which is why stress management is so important.

How does Ayurveda help in stress management of Vata dosha?

In Ayurveda, the best way to manage or reduce stress is to pacify vata and continuously keep it in balance along with the pitta and kapha doshas. There is no single solution that benefits all. Instead it is about understanding your unique composition and learning through ayurvedic guidance how to with home remedies increase vata or when necessary reduce excess vata so that the other dosha can remain in balance. Some of the steps recommended by ayurveda to balance the dosha are listed below.

Spend time in nature – As vata is the energy of movement and consists of air and space, we need to invoke the qualities of water and earth to bring in balance. Taking a walk in the woods or barefoot in a grassy area will work wonders.

Pranayama – This is breath control as vata it is our life force energy. By deepening our breaths we increase prana and thereby calmness in the mind and body.

Self-abhyanga – Self oil massage with warm sesame oil, from head to toe, can help rebalance any vata aggravation. It is not only nurturing and nourishing but also very hydrating for the skin.

Regularity and routine – This is important for a vata personality as it thrives on regularity and daily patterns especially around eating habits and sleep.

Stress symptoms of vata dosha?

When vata is balanced evenly it helps energy flow through the body and for people with a dominant vata dosha this translate to being energetic and always on the go. However when an imbalance occurs these people start to feel fear, anxiety and restlessness and physical issues such as dry skin, hair and lips, joint pains, bloating, gas, constipation and dehydrations. Further a feeling of being ungrounded and dizzy while also experiencing overall poor circulation resulting in muscle spasms or constriction.


By consulting a qualified health ayurvedic practitioner you not only receive medical advice diagnosis or treatment, but also learn wholistic ways to prevent imbalances happening in the first place, so that you do not have to deal with unnecessary stress. If you want to experience a life relatively free from stress then learn and practice the ayurvedic art of balancing your dosha, especially the vata dosha.